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Sakhalin, Russia Travel Information

According to ethnicityology, Sakhalin (Russian: Сахалин) is an island located between the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Sea of ​​Japan (Asia). Sakhalin is part of Russia. The capital of Sakhalin is Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk). A number of major cities on Sakhalin are: Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsk, Dolinsk, Kholmsk, Korsakov, Nevelsk and Okha.

Sakhalin is the largest island in Russia. The island has a long history with different inhabitants. Traces have been found from both the Stone and Bronze Ages. After that, China and Japan, among others, had control over the island. The island also served as an exile island for the homeless and alcoholics, among others. Most of Sakhalin is mountainous. Two parallel mountain ranges cross the island from north to south. The rugged coast is largely defined by rocky cliffs. In addition, there are several sandy beaches. Sakhalin has a rich flora and fauna. For example, brown bears, eagles, whales and seals live on and around the island. During the winter period, which lasts several months, Sakhalin is virtually cut off from the outside world. The island is then regularly hit by snow storms and the water around the island freezes almost completely. Many residents and tourists take advantage of this period for cross-country skiing, skiing and ice fishing. Sakhalin’s economy largely relies on the production of petroleum and natural gas. See beautypically for Asian agriculture.

Where is Sakhalin located?

Travel information of Sakhalin

Official name: Sakhalin
Continent: Asia
Area: 72,492 km²
Capital: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk)
Country code: RU, RUS
Population: 498,000 inhabitants (2015)
Form of government: Federal republic
Highest point: 1,609 m (Lopatin)
Distance (Amsterdam – Yuzhno -Sakhalinsk): 8,286 km
Flight time: approximately 11 hours

Travel advice
Current status: All non-essential travel to Sakhalin is discouraged.
Current color code: Orange.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be (temporary) measures in place on Sakhalin that you as a tourist may have to deal with. For the most up-to-date corona travel advice, please refer to our special coronavirus travel advice page. For the number of current corona infections, number of deaths and various corona-related graphs of Sakhalin, please visit Countryaah.

Travel offer
At the moment there are no travel organizations that offer travel to Sakhalin. If you want to put together your own trip or are looking for separate travel components such as hotels, airline tickets and a rental car, please visit our travel offer page.

Travel guides and maps
Are you looking for a travel guide, map, walking map, cycling map, book or DVD about Sakhalin?

Weather and climate
Sakhalin has a continental climate. During the summer months, temperatures are around 15 to 20 degrees. During the winter months, temperatures are around -5 to -20 degrees.
The current weather (weather forecast) and a weather forecast for Sakhalin can be found on our extensive weather page.

Best time
July, August and September are the best months to travel to Sakhalin. This avoids the cold and extremely cold months with a lot of winter precipitation.

Russian is the official language on Sakhalin. In addition, Korean, Japanese and Azerbaijani are spoken on a small scale.
Would you like to translate from or to Russian, Korean, Japanese or Azerbaijani for free? Use the Google translator for this.

Travel documents
You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon departure from Sakhalin.
A visa is required. You can apply for this in person at the Russian Visa Center in Rotterdam or The Hague, after completing the visa form on (valid for 30 days).

Embassies and consulates
Below is an overview of relevant diplomatic representations, including addresses and contact details.
Netherlands Embassy in Russia:
Dutch consulate on Sakhalin:
Russian Embassy and Consulates in the Netherlands:
For urgent assistance, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24/7 on +31247247247.

Vaccination (inoculation)
It is advisable to get one or more vaccinations before visiting Sakhalin.
For extensive vaccination advice and to make a vaccination appointment at home, please visit You can also see here whether your health insurance reimburses the vaccination(s).

Money and Currency matters
On Sakhalin you pay with the Russian ruble (RUB).
The current position of this currency (currency, currency) can be found on our exchange rate page.
An overview of all ATMs in Sakhalin can be found on our ATMs page.

Price level
The prices on Sakhalin are a lot higher than in the Netherlands. The price difference with the Netherlands is +10% on average. Some examples are: restaurants (9% more expensive), food (4% more expensive), imported beer in catering (20% more expensive), cigarettes (70% cheaper) and public transport (90% cheaper). Please note that the price difference in tourist areas, especially during high season, may vary.

On Sakhalin it is not a matter of course to tip. Sometimes service costs are already included in the bill. If this has not already been done, it is increasingly common to give a tip, especially in the big cities. Good service is about 10% tip.

Time difference
During our summer time it is 9 hours later on Sakhalin.
During our winter time it is 10 hours later on Sakhalin.
Sakhalin has no difference between winter time and summer time.
The local time, date and time zone for Sakhalin can be found on our time difference page.

Traffic and route
On Sakhalin you have to drive on the right.
To drive and/or rent a motor vehicle on Sakhalin, you must have an international driving license or a legalized Russian translation of the Dutch driving licence. The international driver’s license is available at an ANWB shop.
With the Google route planner you can compile a route description from, to or within Sakhalin.

Sakhalin uses the same plugs and sockets as in the Netherlands.
More information about electricity on Sakhalin can be found on our electricity page (look under Russia).

Emergency services
If you need help from the police, fire brigade and/or ambulance in an emergency, you can use the emergency numbers below.
– Police: 02 (fixed) or 112 (mobile)
– Fire Brigade: 01 (fixed) or 112 (mobile)
– Ambulance: 03 (fixed) or 112 (mobile)

Tap water
It is not recommended to drink water from the tap. The quality differs per area.
If you are unable to buy bottled water, use a water purifier to purify the water or boil the water for 5 minutes. After this you can safely use it as drinking water and for things like brushing teeth, cleaning lenses and washing vegetables and / or fruit. More information about drinking water and/or the purchase of water purification products can be found on our drinking water page.

News and newspapers
The latest news related to Sakhalin can be found on Google news.
An overview of the newspapers from Russia (Sakhalin) can be found on Abyznewslinks.

Websites from Sakhalin end
Sakhalin’s official website:
Russian traffic bureau:

The country code (international access code) to call someone on Sakhalin is 007 or +7.
If you want to call the Netherlands from Sakhalin, dial 8 (wait for dial tone) 1031.
(If you use a country code, always leave out the first 0 of the number to be called.)
Phone numbers can be found in the Sakhalin Telephone Directory.
Company details can be found in Sakhalin’s Yellow Pages.

Photos and videos
On Google images you will find a nice collection of photos of Sakhalin.
On Youtube you will find a nice collection of videos of Sakhalin.

An overview of all public holidays in Russia (Sakhalin) can be found on

Reviews and travel experiences
On Zoover and TripAdvisor you will find reviews from travelers about accommodations (eg hotels and holiday homes), restaurants and destinations on Sakhalin, supplemented with photos, videos and places of interest.

Are you looking for a travelogue about Sakhalin?
Here you will find travel reports and experiences of travelers who have previously visited Sakhalin. It is also possible to keep a free diary of your trip for family and/or friends.

Nature and world heritage
An overview of the protected nature areas (including national parks, reserves and wildlife parks) on Sakhalin can be found on Protected Planet.
Sakhalin is not on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Customs rules
Do you want to know how much you are allowed to import and export when traveling to Sakhalin? On the IATA website you will find an overview with the maximum quantities of cigarettes, alcohol and money, among other things. If you stick to these quantities, you don’t have to declare anything to customs. In addition, on this website you will find the laws and regulations regarding the importation of pets and a list of everything that may not be imported and/or exported to Sakhalin.

Entrepreneurship and doing business
If you intend to do business in or do business with Sakhalin, it is wise to prepare well. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency can help you with this. On you will find a large amount of information about Sakhalin, including: opportunities, import and export rules, trade figures, do’s and don’ts, product requirements, current sanctions, business partners and subsidies.

Relevant legislation
Below you will find relevant legislation and regulations that you may encounter during your visit to Sakhalin.
– Alcohol: Buy from the age of 16, drink at all ages.
– Alcohol and traffic: Maximum allowed alcohol content is 0.
– Tobacco: Buying and/or smoking from the age of 18.
– Smoking ban: In public places.
– Homosexuality: Not allowed. Imprisonment and/or fine.

Did you know…
…Sakhalin is connected to mainland Russia in winter because of the ice?
…The city of Neftegorsk has been abolished since 1995 due to an earthquake?
…Sakhalin has been an exile island?
…Sakhalin is an important source of gas and oil?

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